Modern Architecture and Public Education in Toronto,
Our current exhibition explores an important legacy of Modernism in Toronto: the roughly 300 school buildings constructed in Metropolitan Toronto in the three decades after the Second World War.
At the beginning of the public education system early in the century, school buildings embodied progressive ideals of education and assimilation. They were also some of the most thoughtfully designed and carefully constructed buildings in the city, designed by local architects whose ideas were influential across the country.
In the postwar years, when all of Canada was reshaped by the Baby Boom, schools only increased their social significance in Toronto - and here, a succession of innovations in pedagogy were joined to new architectural ideas, drawing on international precedents and influences. These buildings, designed by public-sector employees and leading private-sector architects, captured the ascendant energy of the welfare state and an increasingly metropolitan Toronto and Canada.
Most of these buildings survive. Most belong to public school boards, predominantly the Toronto District School Board. As they buildings age – and, in many cases, fall into disrepair – they deserve careful attention to their architectural and social significance.
Visit the exhibition at: www.newschoolexhibition.net